The site of Wanstead’s much-loved Percy Ingle is to be converted to a “high-class coffee shop” and bakery, according to a planning application which includes a patio and seating area to the rear of the shop.
The application describes the project as a “high class Coffee Shop/Cafe/Takeaway/Bakery” which would involve “Change existing layout of shop to include new shopfront, sign and blind and outside seating to front and rear. Shopfront similar to adjacent Ginger Pig but with central doorway and bifold windows at 2/3 height either side of entrance.”
If approved, the new cafe will be called City Place Coffee, another branch of which is due to open in Chelmsford. It plans to employ 10 people.
Some might think the high street had reached caffeine saturation point, but it’s in any case good to see that someone is prepared to back the long-term health of Wanstead and that things will be returning to normal.
Non-stop charity worker Frank Charles (left) – who for years has been making sure children who are patients in hospital over Christmas still receive gifts – has received this rather impressive bit of mail.
Frank said: “I would like to thank the people of Wanstead for their continuous support over the years.”
It never felt as if a vape shop was going to fit in on Wanstead High Street – regular commenter Juan Stead said in 2018, when we revealed it was opening, that he could “hear the sound of a thousand spluttering lattes”.
And yet with an artisanal look which owed something to Farrow & Ball, it did its best to fit in. But the lockdown has obviously done for it. Perhaps smokers have given up vaping, or maybe months spent at home has driven vapers back to smoking.
Whatever the reason, it’s now evaporated in a sweet smelling cloud.
Chris O’Donnell, who led warmly received virtual tours of Wanstead during the first lockdown, is inviting people to take part in a further tour telling the story of the involvement of Wanstead people in the slave trade and abolition movement.
The idea for the virtual tour – you don’t actually have to leave your house – came from Wanstead curate the Reverend Tom Britt who asked Chris to review the monuments in the St Mary’s churchyard to see if there were any links to the slave trade.
“There were,” says Chris. “My tour tells the story of the slave trade through the memorials, and the churchyard outside. Slave ships, plantations, slave owners, the sugar trade, and Abolition. Wansteadians were involved in all of it.”
The tour will take place at 7.30pm on Wednesday. Taking part costs £5, which is to be split with local food charities. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for an invitation and instructions on paying.